Siberian Cat Breed Information

Siberian Cat: The Siberian is a landrace variety of domestic cat, present in Russia for centuries, and more recently developed as a formal breed, with standards promulgated since the late 1980s. They vary from medium to medium-large in size. A longer name of the formal breed is Siberian Forest Cat, but it is usually referred to as the Siberian or the Siberian cat.

Another name for the formal breed is the Moscow Semi-Longhair. The cat is an ancient breed that is now believed to be ancestral to all modern long-haired cats. The cat has similarities with the Norwegian forest cat, to which it is likely closely related. It is a natural breed of Siberia and the national cat of Russia.

Siberian Cat Breed Information
Siberian Cat Breed Information

Siberian Forest Cat

The Siberian, Russia’s native forest cat, first appeared in recorded history around the year 1000 and hails from the unforgiving climate of Siberia. This is a cat that nature designed to survive, with no extremes in type. The Siberian is a medium to a medium-large, strong triple-coated cat with surprising hefty for its size. The overall appearance should be one of strength, presence, and alertness, with a sweet facial expression. The breed is extremely slow to mature taking as long as 5 years.

Siberians are affectionate cats with a good dose of personality and playfulness. They are amenable to handling, and it is noted that Siberians have a fascination with water, often dropping toys into their water dishes or investigating bathtubs before they’re dry. Siberians seem very intelligent, with the ability to problem-solve to get what they want.

Despite their size, they are very agile and are great jumpers, able to leap tall bookcases in a single bound. Siberians are very people-oriented and need to be near their owners. They’ll meet you at the door when you come home and tell you about their day, and want to hear about yours.

Siberians are talkative but not nearly as chatty as Oriental breeds; they express themselves using quiet meows, trills, chirps, and lots of motorboat-type purring. They like sitting on your lap while they’re being groomed, an activity they particularly enjoy. Another favorite game is bringing a toy for you to throw again and again— and again. They love all types of toys— and will make a toy out of just about anything. Nature shows on TV with chirping birds or squeaking mice will bring your Siberians running; they’ll put gentle feet on the screen and try to catch the fluttering images.

Siberian Cat For Care

The Siberian Cat’s luxurious, thick, full coat may come in any color or pattern, with or without white markings. The triple coat is made up of three layers: a shorter, dense undercoat of downy hair (the hair closest to the skin); a layer of slightly longer “awn hair” in the middle, and an even longer outer coat layer (called “guard hair”). In warm weather, the Siberian Cat will shed the heavy coat in favor of a shorter, thinner summer coat. In winter, the coat will be at its thickest and longest. Despite its thickness and length, the Siberian Cat’s coat tends to resist matting, so only requires occasional brushing (more during the seasonal heavy shed). Occasional baths will help loose hair come out and remove dust and dander from the coat. Trim the nails regularly and inspect the ears for dirt and debris. Wipe the ears out with a cotton ball and gentle ear cleanser (never stick a cotton swab or anything else down into the ear canal). If the ears look red or excessively dirty, schedule a checkup with your veterinarian.

The Siberian Cat is intelligent and exceptionally playful. The breed is known to be slow to mature, taking as long as five years to graduate from kitten-like antics. This means the Siberian Cat is a lot of fun to have around! They love to climb, explore, and play. To keep your Siberian Cat mentally stimulated and physically enriched, expose it to a variety of fun toys and play lots of games.

Siberian Cat Hypoallergenic Cats

With its thick, long coat, you might find it odd to think that some people consider the Siberian Cat hypoallergenic. Although no scientific studies prove it, some allergy sufferers say that they can live successfully with a Siberian Cat. As it turns out, cat dander—not necessarily cat hair itself—is the main culprit for allergies. Most cat-allergic people are sensitive to a protein called Fel d 1, which is found in cats’ skin cells (as well as dried remnants of saliva and urine that coat the cat’s fur). It seems that some cat breeds, including Siberian Cats, produce less dander than other cats. For mild allergy sufferers, this might mean that Siberian Cats elicit little or no allergic reaction.

However, all cats and all people are different. If you suffer from allergies and are interested in finding out if you will react to a Siberian Cat, find a local breeder who will allow you to come to her home and sit with her adult cats to test the theory.

Siberian Cat Breeders

 grey siberian cat
grey siberian cat

From Russia with love: that’s the Siberian cat, a glamorous native feline from the taiga of Siberia, a forested area with a subarctic climate that no doubt contributed to this cat’s long, thick, protective coat.

The Siberian cat is highly affectionate with family and playful when they want to be. However, their exercise needs aren’t overly demanding, and they’re just as happy to snuggle up with their humans as they are to chase a laser toy–maybe even happier.

These cats will follow you all over and gladly participate in whatever you’re doing–sometimes whether you like it or not. If you crave a warm cuddle buddy for those cold nights in Siberia–or wherever you live–the Siberian cat may be the perfect feline family member for you.

Siberian Cat Rescue

  • The Siberian is notable for having a long triple coat with guard hairs (the outer coat), awn hairs (the middle part of the coat) and a downy undercoat. He has an abundant ruff around the neck, thick but slightly shorter hair on the shoulder blades and lower part of the chest, and thick fur on the belly and britches (the upper hind legs). The undercoat thickens in cold weather. The coat comes in all colors and combinations of colors, with or without white.

    He looks powerful and alert but gazes out at the world with a sweet expression. His head is a modified wedge with rounded contours—broad at the top and narrowing slightly at the muzzle. Medium-large ears are well furnished with tufts of fur. The nearly round eyes can be green, gold, green-gold, or copper. White Siberians or Siberians with white patches may have blue or odd eyes.

    The “hefty, hefty, hefty” slogan could have been written with the Siberian in mind. This is a medium-size to a large cat weighing 8 to 17 pounds and sometimes more. It can take the Siberian up to five years to reach his full size and coat. His body is muscular and he has big round paws with tufts of fur and a thickly furred tail.

  • Children And Other Pets

    The Siberian has a bold temperament, and nothing much ruffles his composure. These characteristics make him an excellent choice for a family with kids. No nighttime monsters will get past the Siberian on guard at the foot of a child’s bed. He is happy to live with other cats and cat-friendly dogs, too, as long as they recognize that he’s in charge. Introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along.

Common Health Problems

Most reputable cat breeders keep Siberian kittens with their mom and siblings until they are 12 to 16 weeks old, after which time they are ready to go home with their new families. The Siberian Cat is a generally healthy breed, but a known genetically linked disorder occurs in some Siberians. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a form of heart disease that causes thickening of the heart muscle. Responsible breeders screen their cats for HCM to avoid breeding cats affected by the disease and passing it along to future generations.

Diet and Nutrition

Work with your veterinarian to choose the best food for your Siberian Cat. Although dry food is convenient, canned food contains fewer carbs and has a lot of extra moisture. Most cats don’t drink enough water, which can affect their overall health, including their kidney health. Feed measured amounts of food at scheduled times, two to three times a day. Don’t leave food out all day, which can contribute to an overweight cat

Siberian Forest Cat
Siberian Forest Cat

More Cat Breeds and Further Research

If you’re intrigued by the Siberian Cat and want to learn more, check out the Cat Fanciers’ Association’s Cat Breeder Referral Search to try to find a Siberian breeder near you so you can ask more questions and meet some cats in person. You can also visit Cat Shows U.S. to find a cat show in your area. Cat shows are a great way to meet many different breeds and talk to breed aficionados to learn more. If you like the Siberian Cat, you might also like the Maine Coon Cat, Norwegian Forest Cat, or the Sphynx.

Characteristics of the Siberian Cat

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly High
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness High
Energy Level Medium
Trainability Medium
Intelligence High
Tendency to Vocalize Low
Amount of Shedding Medium


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